OCTOBER (24 kills; PFR 8:8) October Returns To Normal. Found pigs every hunt, always on the ranch while none on the farms, just like it has been every year except 2012. The lack of acorn crop seems to be having a positive effect, at least for now, as pigs are moving all over the ranch looking for food. (This might make 1st Qtr ’14 not so good as there won’t be much left for them to forage?). Also began using helmets in October, turned-out to be much more significant than anticipated and led to modification of tactics again. We quickly learned that is best to leave lights off the entire time. Now with helmets the best aiming/optics system is simply a laser which doesn’t bloom in NV. No need for green lasers anymore. 137 kills YTD.
10-29-13 21:30 (9) The night couldn’t have gone better in most regards. It was quite exhilarating; with no fog cover, and good temperature the hunt and chase were invigorating. With our friend Robby Woodard shooting, along Mike Brown, Paxton on the FLIR, Justus in the drivers seat, and Erin in the back night vision spot lighting. Oh how it was a memorable October night!
We started out the night sighing two pigs sighted across the fence in The Park. We crossed the cattle guard and got within range. Stand still contact made with a chase to finish him off. Paxton continued to scan with the FLIR, and he located two about 75 yards away in Eagle’s Meadow. Justus drove and followed instructions all the way over to the pigs. Robbie took one on left and Mike dropped one on the right. In the process of taking out the two an entire herd was on the left side of the truck. At least three hogs shot in the process of chasing the herd. We continued toward section B through the big fields and motts. Continued firing. Justus dropped a large cinnamon colored hog with the Night Hawk while driving and taking directions. We continued firing and dropped the final hog that crossed through a creek. We returned, following our tracks to get them rounded up.
After we took the pictures, of the six we rounded up we went back towards the creek and boar number one. When we came upon another hog under an oak tree. About 100 yards away we crept up on it and brought it down with several rounds via night visions scopes. We picked it up and posed it next the hog number one.
We tried to be done but while we were driving out we saw pigs across lake – gave scoped guns to Justus and Paxton and Mike gave M1A to Robby and took the Mini-G. We stalked right up to them then Murphy showed-up. Justus jammed, Paxton lost targets in tight FOV, and Mike’s gun was loaded with snap caps! We only got one and ended the night on a comical note. What a rewarding hunt, this is the way to go out of October!
10-26-13 22:03 (2) We had some awesome visitors come in for a hunt. Father and son, Mike and Devin along with his buddy Conner. The rest of the crew: Mike Brown, Rick Busha, Erin, Justus, Paxton and their father Park Densmore.
The night kicked off with a great start, we gathered everything and headed out toward the creek trail, crossing our fingers to find the same herds we had run across before. Justus on the FLIR scanning the area, we came right up on a small pig in the trees. We sped through a few trees and hit a few bumps and finally the shooters, Devin and Conner used night vision to bring the pig to an end.
After a few pictures we loaded up, pretty pleased that we had gotten one so quickly, the energy was high. We passed around the night vision with the lens on it, allowing the other hunters to keep up with what we were looking at, while a thick layer of fog began to cloud our visibility. Thanks to the thermal camera and Justus’ sharp eye we rounded the road toward the farm and saw a larger hog on the move. With an adequate chase, the shooters wounded and grounded the hog. Mike (the guest) administered the Coup de gras with the Night Hawk. Once we got up close we saw that this female had a unique coat of curly fur. That was a first for most of the crew, and after some pictures were taken we loaded up to check out the farms.
The fog had covered the whole farm, we saw a few vermin but the later it got the heavier the fog settled. With little to no moonlight, the night vision continued to get harder to use. We made our way down the south road, turning into the new meadow road when a hog was sighted 100+ yards ahead. We attempted to keep track of him as we backed up and made our way back down the south road, hoping to catch him crossing the levy to the fence. Unfortunately he bolted just fast enough that he made it to the fog cover and the brush; out of sight for the night vision scope.
We finished the night off with a pleasant drive around the farm, keeping a sharp eye for anything worthwhile. Although the hunt ended on a quiet note, we still brought down two hogs and hopefully scared another one away from the property, at least that night.
We started the night off by driving near the engagement tree, looking to get a closer look on heat sighted behind the tree. We then moved to the duck pond, looking across the lake. At first we scanned and saw no activity or heat… We were going to move forward when Erin saw a pig across the pond. We circled around duck pond and chase began. The small hog took off toward the greenhouse through the small hills. We fired and held on as we went over small hills and through trees. The hog was finally down, but before a picture could be taken we scoped out the area and found three black hogs across the cattle guard. With a quick pursuit in hand we followed them on the South Road toward the corner and the light post. Justus cut them off before they crossed the South Road it seems two were hit. One was finished off, and had run himself into the fence in his efforts to get away.
We stopped to take pictures and then continued down the south road to the cattle guard in the open of the grass fields. With a heavy fog and no man lite we turned around and took the new cut road heading toward section a and the creek.
Once we were headed toward the creek a large bore was spotted 100+ yards away. The group decided the best approach was a silent, night vision stalk and shoot. They took their time getting in position and with one shot he was down.
Calling it a good night, we got off of the creek trail and back into the ranch to go to pig number one and grab a photo when a medium sized hog was spotted near the duck pond, sleeping under a tree. Paxton jumped out of the truck, taking off on foot with his hand-gun for an exhilarating chase. It’s believed he wounded the back leg and he was finished in a matter of moments shortly after.
We followed our tracks back to the first hog of the night, and then called it a night. All in all, October proves to be a great month for activity and almost the perfect temperature.
10-23-13 22:30 (1) Tom Green, George Frye, Regina Densmore, Mike Brown, Paxton Densmore, Justus Densmore, and Erin Wyldes. All enjoyed a brisk cool night to scour the ranch and take action against a few large groups of hogs. The night was very active with the downside of a thick layer of fog as far as the eye could see. Tom and George were the shooters for the night.
Justus on the FLIR, Paxton and Erin on the bench with nightvision. We cut through the creek trail again, hoping to run up on the herds we had seen the previous Friday and Mon night. As we neared the trail Justus spotted a few hogs and we charged, through a long stretch of water and began firing through night vision; eventually turning the lights on. George laid the Coup de gras and we broke right spotting a few more 75+ yards away.
The fog cover and tall grass provided enough cover that we lost the them. That continued to happen all night. We spotted and chased a handful more toward the south road, but never got within range to bring them down. While on the South road, we came up on a herd near the feeder, as we speedily approached they took off under the fence and into the mott on the other side.
As we continued to search the area, we neared the corner by the lake, and caught a pair of hogs off guard in between the trees. In the efforts to shoot them, we made some very tight circles and went through a ditch and lost them to the brush in the fence line. We finished the night in high spirits knowing there are plenty of herds still out there and we plan to come back out very soon to try again, hopefully with less fog cover.
10-21-13 21:00 (2) George Frye, Mike Brown, Justus Densmore, Paxton Densmore, and Erin Wyldes. Our friend and colleague George Frye was here for a visit. He brought some rain and some serious firepower. The guys geared up with the helmets and Maggie, slow but still ready to come along for the chase.
On a late drive Friday we discovered multiple herds of hogs near the creek trail, but we had no intention of hunting. We just planned a night drive experimenting with the night vision helmets, so on this night Mike chose to swing by the creek before the usual South road round trip. And boy was it a good thing!
Right as we approached the cattle guard, Justus spotted heat across the fence 75+ yds away. We sped through the grass, dodged a few branches and hit a few holes but made it ready to chase in one piece. The herd had dispersed but Maggie was on the trail, barking and assuring us they were out there. One large hog was sited, the infrared lights came on, as the gun men George and Paxton used night vision to fire on the hog. We had a little trouble with the safety on the AK, so the guns were switched and fired a few shots to drop a large black spotted boar.
After we stopped for a picture, we loaded back up Justus was diligent with the FLIR and located another hog 100+ yds away. We took off hitting about 45 MPH to get George a good shot, he switched to the 6.8 with the night vision scope. Took a shot from 75 yds made contact, the hog went on the run past a fence, we found a crossing and had an exhillarating chase into some trees, fired and brought him down. George finished him with the Night Hawk.
We moved to the original route, to the South road and fence like. Justus scanning the area, there was no further activity. We called it a great night!
10/18/13 23:30 (OBS) Maggie has a great night! Took Shannon and her friend Maryssa along with Erin (and Maggie) for a ride along the old “creek run” in The Park, wearing night vision (no guns). Bright moon with moderate ceiling could see for hundreds of yards. We found group at the fence line but we had left Maggie’s gate down and she jumped out and gave chase. So we rode around chasing pigs and watching her chase pigs and as we did we encountered 3 different groups of them! The chase lasted several minutes and we saw many dozens of pigs – like the old days of pig hunting only w/NVDs could see everything. Had we had guns we would have emptied all magazines, no telling what count might have been! We ended-up losing Maggie for 45 mins while she chased pigs who knows where, but I went back for one last look and found our exhausted puppy, had to pick her up to get into truck! It took a lot out of her, but she had the night of her life, turned-out to be her last time to be on the ground with the pigs.
10/13/13 23:00 (3). Mike Brown, Justus Densmore, Paston Densmore. First time all 3 helmets/NVDs being used. Had >2″ rain AND freshly-planted grass so expecting trouble on Sec B but NO pigs. Did see large boar under Summer’s Trail feeder but he escaped into tall grass. After checking farms we saw pigs behind lake, walked out with 6.8, M1A w/IR laser and Mini-G w/IR laser. 3 pigs, 3 kills. Helmet-mounted NVDs worked great!
10/10/13 23:30 (1) MAB – got one for Maggie. Checking farm where we are planting but no heat to be found. But returning through ranch saw one at S end of lake walking across open area searching beneath live oaks. Walked out and got him using 6.8SPC. Maggie thoroughly enjoyed her young boar…